auscultation is a topic covered in the Taber's Medical Dictionary.

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Listening for sounds within the body, esp. from the chest, neck, or abdomen.

A stethoscope is typically used. It is applied to the patient's skin surface gently but firmly to eliminate any environmental noises that may be present. Auscultation is used to detect heart rate and rhythm and any cardiac murmurs, rubs, or gallops; crackles or wheezes in the lungs; pleural rubs; movement of gas or food through the intestines; vascular or thyroid bruits; fetal heart tones; and other physiological phenomena.

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